Case studies

The University of Melbourne works toward clean energy goals

The University of Melbourne works toward clean energy goals

The University of Melbourne is expecting to reduce its grid electricity use by about five per cent through the installation of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies, financed through the CEFC.

The CEFC is providing a loan of up to $9.1 million for a program of works which is currently being rolled out.

The university is in the process of upgrading outdated freezers used at its medical and science research facilities with models that are expected to use around half the energy, saving about 0.6 GWh per annum. By September 2017, 25 freezers had been purchased and more had been ordered.

A widespread rollout of solar photovoltaics - is expected to provide further grid energy savings of over 2.7GWh a year. To preserve the heritage value of certain buildings, the installation of the solar is being carried out so that the panels are not visible from the ground.

By September 2017, solar PV totalling just over 1,100 kW had been installed at 12 locations and a further 970kW of solar PV installation across a further nine sites was under way.

A concentrated solar thermal power system will be used for swimming pool heating, heritage permit has been obtained from Heritage Victoria with this project moving to the design and procurement phase.

The university has commenced a lighting replacement program and is looking to upgrade inefficient lights with LEDs with an expected energy saving of around 1.9GWh per annum.

The University, with some 48,000 students, has the energy requirements of a town the size of Warrnambool, and a goal to achieve carbon neutrality before 2030, and to have zero net emissions from electricity consumption by 2021.

With research showing energy use for Australian universities is expected to grow considerably in the current decade, there is a compelling case for universities to invest in effective measures to reduce their energy use, lower costs and emissions, while providing a vitally important demonstration of the benefits of sustainability for students and the university communities.